Saturday, May 08, 2004

The cure for what ails ya 

The family had a busy, somewhat frustrating day today so I invoked the universal cure--dining out. I think most people have some sort of comfort ritual--some drug that offers temporary release from the pressures of life. For us, dining out has become that security blanket. If I'm having a rough day at work, I forgo my prepared sandwich and head to some fast food joint. If Noodles appears to be stressed out, I offer to "cook" and we head to a restaurant. If the kids seem overwhelmed by pressure, I yell at them and tell them to grow up. Okay, the last one's a joke... sort of. They don't get the comfort dining but we do offer them a hug and whatever help they need. But anyway, I don't know exactly why it's become such a painkiller for us--besides the ease of not having to cook or wash dishes. I have noticed that it does offer a chance for Noodles and I to connect. At home there's all sorts of things at hand to do, so we usually do those things. At the restaurant, we chat as we wait for our food or linger over our Biggie-size sodas. I mean, it's either that or gawk at the other diners. Or maybe it's just the change of venue. An escape from the space in which we are currently suffering. Or, perhaps, it's a subconscious retreat to the days of childhood, when going to a restaurant was an event rather than a regular thing. I don't know. Whatever the cause, it does offer that brief moment of pleasure. And it's a heck of a lot cheaper than therapy.